For the past 103 years, women worldwide come together on 8 March to celebrate their achievements and reflect on what remains to be done. This year is no different.
International Women’s Day is a good day to take stock of women’s affairs.
Did you realise that currently:
- women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, produce half the world’s food, and yet earn only 10 % of the world’s income and own less than 1% of the world’s property?
- women make up 70% of the worlds 1.3 billion people who live in poverty?
- women over the age of 15 in the least developed countries are twice as likely to be illiterate than men.
The solution? Social investment in girls.
Why? When we invest in the positive development of girls it has an equally positive ripple effect on her family, her community and her nation. In short: the girl effect.
Girls make up almost a quarter of the world’s population…
…yet still face the greatest discrimination of any group in the world. Watch I am a Girl or host your own screening of this thoughtful film to mark International Women’s Day.
This is why it is essential that all grants and social investments integrate the situation and needs of girls and women into their strategic plans and guidelines if they wish to maximise their social return on investment.
Likewise, social profit organisations working to improve the conditions of marginalised and disadvantaged need to ensure that they have taken full account of the requirements of girls and young women so they can reach their full potential.
For more information about the importance of girls and women in social investment visit:
- The Australian Women’s Donors Network -check out their Genderwise Philanthropy Guide. The Women Donors Network encourages the funding of projects which invest specifically in women and girls and advocates embedding gender awareness into mainstream grantmaking so that it addresses the circumstances and needs of women and girls, which are often different to those of men and boys.”
- International Women’s Day -”Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatrik performances, fashion parades and more.”
- Girl Guides Australia – “Guides provide a non-formal education program that is a dynamic, flexible and values-based training in life skills, decision-making and leadership. It is run by trained volunteer Leaders committed to Enabling girls and young women to grow into confident,self-respecting, responsible community members.”
- The International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) – International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) is an Australian non-profit organisation that creates positive change for women and their communities. Our practical and rights-based projects directly address poverty and oppression in developing countries.
Looking forward to receiving your comments and let’s pause on 8th March to spare a thought for all those who, during more than 100 years, have rocked the boat for us and for all those girls and women who have yet to enjoy the freedom that we take for granted.
about the author: Ulrike Schuermann is an experienced international consultant & social profit coach. Her main areas of interest are social investments, income development for social profits; corporate sustainable development and business and human rights. She regularly facilitates workshops for social profit organisations, corporations and educational institutions and can be contacted at email@example.com.